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Psychology - Essay Example

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The evolutionary paradigm is based upon the concept that if psychological theory is to be taken seriously, it must be consistent with evolutionary biology. Psychoanalytic psychological theory in general focuses upon an individual as being caught between nature and culture, with…
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Psychology

Download file to see previous pages... Therefore, evolutionary theory becomes a theory of context and environment, so that the psychology of an individual is to be understood by taking into consideration the environment the individual lives in - past, present and future, as well as the changes that have occurred in this environment over a period of time. Culture is viewed as no more than the constantly changing social environment that reflects the changing perspectives of groups of individuals over time. Within the environment, organisms are competing for resources, however when employing an evolutionary perspective, it is not natural selection that determines which individuals will survive. The approach that can be employed is that certain kinds of individuals or patterns can be reproduced within a particular kind of environment.
Hence, the evolutionary paradigm does not embark upon the study of an individual’s mind with any preconception about normalcy based upon what is considered to be natural, but as a factor of his or her environment, examining what factors shaped the individual’s past and present environment and what elements of the future environment are likely to shape the individual’s being, state of existence and manner of thinking. For example, in the context of the attachments that an individual has with others, Fonagy et al (2000) offer the view that attachment patterns may reflect environmental conditions, such as the low level of correlation between an infant’s attachment to its mother as opposed to its father. Montague et al (2003) examined attachment patterns and the imposition of punitive measures through withholding of attachment in both African American children and European American children, and noted while the environment of the former produced increased self reliance, the latter revealed a more negative effect of such withholding of affection, thereby indicating that changing environmental and other trends could play a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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